Auto sector welcomes ECC decision to gradually cut tariff regime


The Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) has welcomed the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) decision to gradually bring down tariff regime for the motorcycle industry in such a way that local industry would not be adversely affected.
The decision will go a long way in stimulating the growth of the domestic industry and a flagging economy.
The newly-elected Chairman Munir Bana and Vice Chairman Usman Malik said that Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, deserves appreciation for accepting the demand of local auto industry to rationalize tariff regime gradually.
They agreed with the Finance Minister’s observations that in the whole process it must be ensured that the local motorcycle industry is not affected and that a level playing field is provided to all the stakeholders.
The PAAPAM leaders, however, called for measures to overcome energy crisis, security challenges and political instability to make investment-friendly decisions meaningful and result-oriented.
“If these factors are not brought under control, they would continue to create problems for the economy in general and for the foreign investment in particular,” Bana observed.
PAAPAM chairman and vice chairman said that Pakistan’s motorcycle industry has progressed in a very impressive fashion over the last half decade based on the AIDP. Adequate competition has been introduced and today well over 60 companies are producing motorcycles in Pakistan.
They added that during the period 2001-2007, with the help of stable policies of the government, the automobile industry went through a period of tremendous expansion, with investments of over Rs 40 billion and volumes going up by over 500 per cent.
These developments made the auto industry one of the top five industrial sectors of the country in terms of contribution to tax revenue, acquisition of hi-tech manufacturing technologies and generation of employment. Unfortunately, due to import of used vehicles and other adverse policy factors, our industry is now suffering from excess Capacity.
Currently, car assemblers and parts manufacturers are intermittently shutting down their plants by observing Non Production Days (NPDs) and retrenching labour.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, concluded Munir Bana. Minister of Finance must immediately intervene and stop car dealers from using “Used car imports facility meant for overseas Pakistanis only”.